What would you do if you had an extra day off work each week? Perhaps you’d get a hobby or learn a new skill, or maybe you’d go grocery shopping so you can have the weekend to relax.
While four day weeks may have once been something of a pipe dream, these reduced working weeks could soon be on the horizon according to the general secretary of the Trade Union Congress Frances O’Grady.
In a speech to delegates, O’Grady suggested this utopian dream could be accomplished thanks to the advent of robots and artificial intelligence.
“In the nineteenth century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the twentieth century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays. So, for the twenty-first century, let’s lift our ambition again. I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone,” she said.
This pushes forward the belief that with the help of revolutionary technology, a four day week is relevant and necessary as O’Grady explained that “workers are required to be constantly available to work.”
In response we took to the streets and asked the people what they would do if they had a four day week and ultimately, an extra day off.
Shantariyah, Manager at SpaceNK.
“Cleaning. I don’t think anyone during the week has time to do it cause they’re so tired and it’s worse for people who have kids.”
“I would probably do all the things that get too busy to enjoy over the weekend. For example, if you go shopping, it can get too crowded, same with seeing an exhibition. It would be nice to go at a time where public transport is basically empty.”
“The spa! I’d probably do with an extra day at the theatre or see a movie I’ve been wanting to see for ages without a crowd of people. Anywhere where there’s no kids involved.”
Zeynep, UCL Lecturer in women’s health.
“I’d go to a yoga class or take my dog for a walk. Or even take a photography course, I’ve been wanting to do for a while but always struggle to find the time. Yes, that would be amazing”.
Yu Zekun, student.
“I’d love to experience more time to sleep and try to go and see some art. Even read old articles in the library. Anything we can do to refresh ourselves instead of getting ourselves into more work”.
Simon, Mechanical Engineer.
“Simple. Family time. More time with the kids”.
Megumi, Sales Assistant at All Flute Plus
“I would just do house things such as cleaning and shopping but also relaxing; so when the weekend comes, I’m taking the time to go out with my husband and relax again on the Sunday.”
Simran and Amelia, students.
“To be honest, I feel like it wouldn’t make a difference. In general, you don’t feel like you have the weekend.”
“I agree, I feel like a lot of people take their work home as well.”
Steve, Project Manager at a software company.
“What couldn’t I do with the extra day? Bit more family time and all the jobs I don’t have time for in the weekend making memories with my son.”
How would you spend your extra day off? Comment below and let us know.